Attend a Midweek Mixer
No matter where you are in the world, no matter the time of year, we want you to have a space to connect with fellow AOCS community members with common interests.
Whether you want to learn, network, collaborate, engage in business development, or just socialize with colleagues to unwind, Midweek Mixers are your destination.
Registration is free. You will receive instructions for how to join the Mixer after you register. You do not have to be a member of AOCS to participate, so feel free to invite your colleagues and friends.
Host a Midweek Mixer
Do you have an idea for the next Midweek Mixer? Our community drives the themes and focuses of our Midweek Mixers. These get-togethers are as formal or as casual as you want.
We invite you to propose the next Midweek Mixer. Fill out this form with your Midweek Mixer idea and a member of the AOCS Membership team will consider your proposal and reach out to you with the next steps.
Scheduling is fairly flexible during the workweek. AOCS handles the promotion so the community knows all about it. All you need to do is log on and host. For inspiration, browse the list below of past mixers.
Upcoming Midweek Mixers
Midweek Mixer hosted by Matthew Fhaner, University of Michigan-Flint, USA
Date: Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, 11:00 AM CST (Chicago, USA; UTC-06)
Leaders from AOCS Divisions, Sections, and Common Interest Groups will provide insights on how to maximize your networking while attending the 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1-4, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This mixer will be especially valuable for AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo newcomers who are interested in optimizing their networking opportunities. We hope to see you there!
Kaustuv Bhattacharya, IFF, Denmark
Vermont Dia, University of Tennessee, USA
Hongbing Fan, University of Edmonton, Canada
Thomas McKeon, Retired, USDA, USA
Past Midweek Mixers
Processing induced changes in protein sustainability, quality and safety
Midweek Mixer hosted by the Protein and Co-Products Division
Hosted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022
Consumer demand for alternative and sustainable protein sources, such as plants, insects, and microorganisms, is increasing. However, questions remain regarding the impact of conventional and novel processing technologies on the functionality, nutritive value, sensory attributes, and shelf-life of these novel protein sources. Join Profs. Dr. Vijaya Raghavan and Dr. Pam Ismail as they discuss how recent innovations in processing technologies are improving our ability to provide sustainable, healthy and safe protein-based foods. There will be a Q&A and open discussion after the presentation. We hope to see you there!
Dr. Pam Ismail, Professor, University of Minnesota, USA
Dr. Vijaya Raghavan, Professor, McGill University, Canada
IOP Division: Career Options/Paths in the Industrial Oil Products Industry
Midweek Mixer hosted by the Industrial Oil Products Division
Hosted: Monday, March 7th, 2022
Take a break from the stresses of your week and join us in the Industrial Oil Products division for the Spring 2022 Midweek Mixer - Career Options/Paths in IOP Area. We've assembled a panel of speakers from all career stages in positions at young startups, private industry, academia, and government labs to provide their unique perspectives on their profession and our shared interest in the IOP space. We hope to see you there!
Zoran Petrovic, Pittsburg State University
Franck Dumeignil, University of Lille, France
Tim Ulmasov, CoverCress, Inc.,
Tim Abraham, Cargill
Bob Moreau, Retd. USDA ARS ERRC,
Bob Dunn, USDA ARS NCAUR
Nacu Hernandez, Sumatra Biorenewables, LLC
Student CIG: The future of food packaging
Midweek Mixer hosted by the Student Common Interest Group (SCIG)
Hosted: Thursday, February 24, 2022
The food packaging industry has been rapidly changing to meet the needs of the market, respond better to consumer demands, and become more sustainable and less harmful to our environment. Attend this interactive mixer with Prof. Dr. Ir. Peter Ragaert from the Gent University, where you will learn about the emerging concepts in the packaging industry and the future of food packaging! There will be a Q&A and open discussion after the presentation. Hosted by the AOCS Student Common Interest Group.
Professor Peter Ragaert works in the area of food packaging technology focusing on bioplastics, active and intelligent packaging and barrier materials. One of the key elements in his research is relating different compositions and functionalisation of packaging materials with resulting shelf-life of food products. Within this research topic, increased attention is going to the use of recycled and/or biobased materials for food packaging. Furthermore, he is also project manager at Pack4Food, which is a collaboration platform between research institutes and the packaging industry, in which the focus in the last years has been shifting to packaging materials in a circular economy.
New consumer demands in alternative plant proteins
Midweek Mixer hosted by the Edible Applications Technology (EAT) and Protein & Co-Products (PCP) Divisions
Hosted: Thursday, December 9, 2021
As alternative protein products have grown, new products have shifted from simply vegetarian or vegan options to mimicking the experience of a meat-based diet. This has generated growth in “flexitarian” consumers. But who are these consumers and what plant-based options do they want? Join Phil Kerr, Prairie AquaTech, and Tasha Hermes, Cargill, as they explore this important question and address opportunities and challenges for product development.
The Mixer is hosted by the Filip VanBockstaele, Ghent University and EAT Division Vice-Chair, and Vermont Dia, University of Tennessee and PCP Division Membership Liaison. It is free and open to everyone!
Ugly Sweater Party — Student CIG Midweek Mixer
Hosted: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Put on your ugliest sweater and join us for some holiday cheer! The AOCS Student CIG is throwing an ugly sweater party for students to talk about how to relieve stress and play some fun games. Attendees will share stories of frustrations, successes and what helped them through it all. There will also be an ugly sweater competition. All participants will receive a gift with a special gift going to the winner!
Using enzyme-based soy processing to maximize recovery of high value components Biotechnology Division Midweek Mixer
Hosted: Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Enzyme-based soy processing enables oil, protein and sugar to be recovered in a single step in separate streams. Join Prof. Lu-Kwang Ju, The University of Akron, USA, as he provides details on this new processing method and answers your questions. His presentation will be followed by a discussion about the Biotechnology Division's activities at the 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1–4, 2022. Hosted by Tom McKeon, Retired, USDA. Bring your questions and curiosity!
Early-Career Research Professionals: Navigating Career Paths
Hosted: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Learn how to successfully navigate your career path in this upcoming mixer hosted by the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group. Gain valuable insights about challenges that may arise while navigating your career path, resources to utilize that can help with this process and hear personal experiences from seven well-known experts and young researchers from Academia, Government, and Industry. Register today to ensure that you receive important advice on any questions/concerns you have regarding your future career options and how to navigate through them successfully.
Academia - Dr. Phil Bates (Washington State University-Pullman), Prof. Ed Cahoon (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Dr. Matt Fhaner (University of Michigan-Flint)
Government – Dr. Craig Byrdwell (USDA) and Dr. Tom McKeon (USDA)
Industry – Dr. Sidd Purkayastha (Ingredion) and Dr. Sarah Willett (Kerry Foods)
Maximizing your Career Opportunities: LinkedIn Networking and more
Hosted: Monday, October 25, 2021
Interested in learning about interview preparation, networking, strategic partnering, and more ways of furthering your career goals? Attend this interactive mixer with Dr. Lowell Islom, of Hollander Horizon International (HHI), and Dr. Nandika Bandara from the University of Manitoba, where you will explore important professional development goals and have an opportunity to chat with the experts! Hosted by the AOCS Student Common Interest Group.
Food Quality and Authentication Networking Discussion
Hosted: Tuesday, October 21, 2021
A networking event for AOCS members and potential members interested in food quality and authentication. Come introduce yourself, share research interests, meet with colleagues, and discuss current news and activities in our field. Hosted in advance of the webinar "Impact and Response to Food Fraud in Canada" and in partnership with AOCS Canadian Section and Young Professional Common Interest Group, all are welcome!
How and why to become a journal reviewer
Hosted: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Have you always wanted to be a peer-reviewer, but are not sure you have what it takes or you don’t know where to start? Are you a recent graduate or post-doctoral student eager to learn about peer-reviewing? Attend this informative session, hosted by Dr. Silvana Martini, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS), to learn more.
This panel-style event will consist of a short presentation explaining the review process and the important role of reviewers. Senior Associate Editors of JAOCS will provide advice and suggestions on how to be an outstanding reviewer. This will be an interactive event where the Editor-in-Chief and the Senior Associate Editors will be available to answer any questions that you might have. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the Editorial Board of JAOCS and get involved in the review process.
Processing Division Mixer: Measurement in Science and Industry
Hosted: Thursday, October 7, 2021
How did a nuclear reprocessing plant lose 30 kg of plutonium and how can you use careful measurement to get the most out of an edible oil refinery? Alan Paine, Consultant, UK, will provide answers to these questions as well as insight into achieving precise measurement in science and industry. This will be followed by a discussion about the Processing Division's needs for the upcoming 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1–4, 2022.
Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division Mixer: LOQ and your Career
Hosted: Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Want some helpful career insights from leaders in the lipids world, as well as a chance to win a free 2022 membership in the Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ) Division? Join us for the LOQ Fall Midweek Mixer at 11 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.
Prof. Eric Decker (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Dr. Jill Moser (USDA-ARS), and Dr. Roger Nahas (Kalsec) will share the twists and turns of their careers in academe, government, and industry. What decisions made the greatest differences in their careers? How did they take advantage of external events? Would they have done anything differently, in hindsight? How did membership in LOQ influence their careers? Learn from these members on how they utilized Division involvement to grow their careers.
Re-envisioning the future for the Professional Educator Common Interest Group — from surviving to thriving
Hosted: October 4, 2021, 1 p.m. CDT
A global audience of educators provided new ideas and insights for the leadership team of the Professional Educator Common Interest Group (PE CIG). Some of these insights included:
- Needs for industry and academics are different, so any mentorship program developed must be tailored to these different needs.
- Educators need a directory, with expertise included, to more easily connect with each other.
- Ideas for an international student exchange program.
- A possible reorganization and renaming of the PE CIG group.
The feedback collected will be used to tailor future programs developed by the PE CIG.
How to make the most of AOCS member communities
Hosted: August 25, 2021
New AOCS members gathered from Malaysia, India, Mexico, Canada and USA to learn more about AOCS member benefits and the how and why of joining Divisions, Sections and Common Interest groups. Our host and panelists shared many personal stories on what they have learned and leveraged from their AOCS membership.
- Learned the 3Rs of AOCS member benefits: Research, good Reads and Reach.
- Gained clarity on the differences between Divisions and how their unique interests overlap and work together.
- Heard light-hearted stories on member’s experiences and research area and interests.
Student Common Interest Group – Lunch and Laugh Online Mixer
Hosted: July 21, 2021
Students from across the globe — including Russia, The Netherlands, India, Mexico, Canada and the USA — attended this online social gathering. Participants shared their research interests, year of study, something that they are passionate about and what food best represents them. This last question generated funny, personal and unique answers! We learned about the allure of Turkish coffee and Andean potato and cheese soup. The group then battled one another in a quiz with both chemistry questions and AOCS trivia.
- Met colleagues striving and working hard to finish their degree program
- Learned about the poster submission for upcoming AOCS meetings
- Learned about AOCS student awards and how to apply
Industry experts offer insights for building a rewarding career
Hosted: June 22, 2021
Panelists from across industry offered practical insights into how to succeed in the job hunt and continue growing once you have landed a job. They shared their personal experiences and lessons learned from managing the twists and turns—including unexpected opportunities—inherent in any career.
- Keys to crafting an effective CV and the role of cover letters.
- Learning how to work with others by developing emotional IQ.
- Importance of finding a mentor.
- The role of ambition and passion to fuel continued growth and learning.
Art of Presenting Posters and Communicating Science
Hosted: April 15, 2021
Marnie Newell, a recent PhD graduate from the University of Alberta, Canada, offered strategies and insights on how to present research in a clear and compelling manner. She discussed the importance of communicating our work for the advancement of science, how to grab audience attention (and keep it!) and how to transform technical data into a language that everyone understands.
- Create an analogy for your work as this will make it more memorable and impactful
- Use lay language to make it accessible for the entire listening community
- Work on flow from one section to the next
- Practice and then practice again!
View the recording to learn so much more: https://youtu.be/RD5qo673Vkc
Habits and Rituals
Hosted: February 3, 2021
Panelists from around the globe hosted a casual conversation sharing tips and insights that help them navigate their professional and personal habits. AOCS member Matthew Fhaner, University Michigan-Flint, moderated the conversation and facilitated questions from 35 attendees, with locations from as far away as Venezuela, Iran, India, Australia and North America. Attendees laughed, provided support and encouragement, and gained insights on time management, self-care rituals, and opportunities for career growth.
Mixer highlights include:
- Time-saving habits, such as scheduling all re-occurring appointments throughout the semester or year
- Career growth strategies, such as identifyng and regularly meeting with a mentor from within your organization
- Self-care tips, such as taking time to get outside for fresh air, sunshine and for a break from the day
Mix it Up: A Midweek Mixer for surfactants and detergents professionals!
Hosted: November 17, 2020
AOCS' Surfactants and Detergents Division hosted a social gathering for S&D professionals to network and connect and learn more about how AOCS can help you grow professionally beyond technical services. Attendees came with their favorite drink whether that was an iced latte, a cocktail or a mocktail and S&D Division leaders, Keith Genco of Arkema, Michael Williams of Evonik and Sanja Natali of Exxon Mobil welcomed new and familiar faces to the event.
Mixer highlights include:
- Nearly 30 people from around the globe, even as far as Japan, attended and provided details about their area of expertise, affiliations and connected with familiar and new colleagues.
- Fred Holzhauer was this Mixer's grand prize winner!
- S&D Division Session Chairs encouraged attendees to submit abstracts for both oral and e-poster sessions.
- Chair Keith Genco strongly encouraged this group to continue collaborating with one another as a way to build the next generation of technology.
- Attendees took a fun photo with pets to conclude the get together.
November’s Membership Midweek Mixer
Hosted: November 10, 2020
Janet Cheney, Director of Membership, AOCS, and Katrina Gaffney, AOCS Communication Specialist, provided attendees an overview of AOCS resources. Then hosts Rick Theiner and Jill Moser helped attendees get to know each other by facilitating introductions.
Mixer highlights include:
- An overview of AOCS, including aocs.org, inform|connect as well as a variety of AOCS communications and AOCS resources like INFORM magazine, the journals and the webinar archive.
- A chance to get to know all who joined the Mixer.
- Muhammad Elsorady and J. David Pinkston winning this Mixer’s prizes.
How peer reviewing can help you professionally
Hosted: November 2, 2020
The peer-review process is an important step for improving research paper quality; however, less is known about the standardized review process. This Mixer provided a platform for attendees to share their reviewing experiences and ask questions about how to get involved, best review practices and more. Other topics that were discussed include how to balance research and reviewing and the benefits of reviewing are professionally and intellectually. This Mixer was both an informative session on how peer reviewing can enhance professional development and an opportunity for attendees to network with peers also interested in journal reviewing.
Mixer highlights include:
- Dr. Hayes, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, and Dr. Kenar, Editor-in Chief of Journal of American Oil Chemists’ Society, sharing some insights into why they value peer reviewing.
- Great questions from Jieyao Yuan, Yang Lan and Hongbing Fan that helped clarify how students and young professionals can begin peer reviewing.
- Pam Landman, AOCS Journals Coordinator, providing insights about how to get involved with peer reviewing for AOCS journals.
Let’s talk about your edible oil sample preparation struggles - a conversation with Lovibond
Hosted: September 23, 2020
Lovibond was this Midweek Mixer’s host, and they kicked it off the event with a round of edible oils trivia. Then, Mixer attendees engaged in a conversation about what can reduce measurement interference such as sample preparation, sample temperature, contaminated or damaged sample cells, instrument maintenance and cleanliness, cell path length relative to color scale and incorrect color scale for verification.
Mixer highlights include:
- Rick DellaPorta "winning" the Midweek Mixer trivia game.
- Emphasis on the all-important issue of cleaning cuvettes and the effect of temperature on possible measurement aberrations.
- A discussion over sources for healthy alternative oils.